[FPSPACE] story on top secret DoD robot rendezvous mission to GEO
kgottschalk at uwc.ac.za
Tue Apr 3 06:00:44 EDT 2007
>>>> "Jim Oberg" <joberg at houston.rr.com> 04/02/07 3:52 PM >>>
>This story is more than two years old -- it describes 'Prowler', a
secret space shuttle payload from 1990,
>that supposedly performed a series of automated rendezvous inspections
of GEO payloads, while
>'stealthy' (invisible from Earth radar and optics). How credible is
this story, in hindsight -- especially
>since only in recent years has the DoD and NASA begun doing automated
>in low earth orbit? It's a puzzlement.
>[.....] complained that an unnamed spy
>project was "totally unjustified and very, very wasteful
I'm inclined to agree with your implication that this claim, (like
the claims of an 8000 mph "Aurora") are premature, a sort of
wish-is-father-of-the-thought: " especially since only in recent years
has the DoD and NASA begun doing automated rendezvous experiments in low
However, as far as us astronautics fans are concerned, we will
welcome any automated machine with rendezvous capabilities,
tele-operated robotic arms, etc, from LEO to GEO! Far from being
"totally unjustified and very wasteful"
such robotic creatures could
1. minimize the need for spacewalks by humans with their hours of
suiting up & undressing;
2. save lives by external inspections & repairs to crewed
3. enable future Hubbles to be placed in vastly more effective GSO
orbits, because there will now be a servicing capability.
4. save huge amounts of funds by repairing & resuscitating comsats,
instead of abandoning them.
5. If they are propelled by ion drive, they can even one by one remove
space debris dangerous to human spaceflight, as orbital dustmen.
with warm regards, Keith
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